Road reopens after sinkhole repair

Harmon Road in Shenandoah County is open again after a 33-foot deep sinkhole swallowed a portion of it.

Ed Carter, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Edinburg district administrator, said the sinkhole appeared Monday morning and that road was closed through Thursday while a contractor conducted repairs.

Carter said the sinkhole was caused by the heavy rains that swept the area last weekend. He explained that the sediment under Harmon Road is full of rocky cavernous rock formations with gaps that are filled up by dirt.

Carter said the rains saturated and washed that dirt away, which caused the road to give way and collapse from the top. The sinkhole is repaired, he said, by excavating all the collapsed material until a hard patch of sediment is reached. Once that point is reached, he said, the hole is filled.

This particular excavation, Carter said, was particularly difficult for the crews because the rain resulted in a lot of “muck and mud.”

Sandy Myers, VDOT public relations specialist, said over the phone that the road has been paved and completely stabilized.